University of Mary Washington Then & Now

A Photography Exhibition

The Fine Arts Center was built in the 1950s, during a wave of new construction across campus.1 The trio of buildings consists of DuPont, Melchers, and Pollard, which now house the departments of art, art history, music, and theatre & dance. DuPont is named in honor of Jessie Ball duPont, a prominent philanthropist.2 Melchers is named in honor of Julius Garibaldi “Gari” Melchers, an internationally-acclaimed painter who moved to Fredericksburg in his later years. After his death, his wife, Corinne, became a prominent benefactor of the arts.3 Pollard is named in honor of John Garland Pollard, Governor of Virginia during the Great Depression. While the dire economic conditions of the era limited the aid he could give to the school, he did help with the authorizing of resources for construction projects on campus, notably those for Seacobeck Hall.4   At the center of DuPont Hall is Klein Theatre, named for instructor of dramatic arts Albert R. Klein. He was a member of the theatre faculty from 1952 until his death in 1970; the following year the theatre was renamed in his honor.5 The Fine Arts Center was renovated in the mid-1990s, updating the facilities which had originally been built in the 1950s, including the addition of a computer lab in Melchers.6

Dupont Now Resized

Dupont, 2014
Alexandria Parrish, “Dupont,” February 19 2014, Personal Collection of Alexandria Parrish. University of Mary Washington.

Fine Arts Center Now Resized

Melchers, 2014
Alexandria Parrish, “Melchers,” February 19 2014, Personal Collection of Alexandria Parish. University of Mary Washington.

Show 6 footnotes

  1. William B. Crawley Jr., University of Mary Washington: A Centennial History, 1908-2008 (Fredericksburg: University of Mary Washington Foundation, 2008), 57.
  2. Jessie Ball duPont Fund: About Us, “Our History,” Jessie Ball duPont Fund, April 18, 2014).
  3. Crawley, 226-27.
  4. Ibid., 31.
  5. University of Mary Washington Theatre & Dance, “Klein Theatre,” University of Mary Washington, April 17, 2014).
  6. Crawley, 572-74.